The RIDC Mill 19 development project has been selected to receive an American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment (COTE) Top Ten Award. Given annually by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment (COTE), the COTE Top Ten is the architecture industry’s best-known awards program for sustainable design excellence. Each year, AIA recognizes ten innovative projects that integrate design excellence with environmental performance by meeting COTE’s rigorous criteria for ten measures: design for integration, design for community, design for ecology, design for water, design for economy, design for energy, design for wellness, design for resources, design for change, and design for discovery. The five-member jury evaluates each project submission based on a cross-section of the ten metrics, balanced with a holistic approach to design.
Mill 19 is a living emblem of Pittsburgh’s transformation from its industrial steel-making past to a future of sustainable advanced manufacturing. In a bold approach to adaptive reuse, the design viscerally interweaves new space for the city’s robotics industry within the industrial ruins of a decommissioned steel rolling mill. A post-industrial promenade welcomes the public through a linked series of compelling exterior experiences framed between the monumental 1,360 foot-long existing steel superstructure and three multi-tenant tech buildings sited within. Key design moves include peeling away the existing mill’s deteriorated sheet metal skin; exposing its dramatic steel skeleton; and installing a sequence of speculative high-tech office, lab, and manufacturing structures within the ruinous frames.
The design integrates building performance into the project’s experiential engagement with the site’s embedded history. The design team stewarded ambitious energy, water, and daylight performance targets through continuous iterative analysis. The Mill 19 project accomplishes impressive levels of experiential, sustainable performance and public access within the financial constraints of a speculative core and shell commercial development.
MSR Design received a 2019 AIA COTE Top Ten Award for the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum’s Tashjian Bee and Pollinator Discovery Center.